|INVENTOR, PHOTOGRAPHER (ENGLAND)|
BORN 7 Sep 1855, Bristol: College Street - DIED 5 May 1921, London|
CAUSE OF DEATH heart failure
GRAVE LOCATION London: Highgate Cemetery East, Swain's Lane, Highgate
William Friese-Green had photo studios in Bath and Bristol and after seeing the J.A.R. Rudge's 'Biophantoscope' he decided to work on his own camera.
He invented the cinematograph, that showed pictures on celluloid in rapid succession. Friese-Green was the first person ever to see moving pictures on a screen. He obtained a patent for his invention, but further development costs led to his bankruptcy and for a short period he was in a debtors' prison.
He worked on stereoscopic film and colour film and many more patents followed, but his inventions never became industry standards and around 1915 he lived in poverty.
In 1921 he attended a meeting by people from the film world in London where he stood up to speak. His words were incoherent and he was guided back to his seat, where he died instantly. During his funeral service all British cinemas stopped their films for two minutes.
Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991
Greenwood, Peter, Who's buried where in England, Constable, London, 1982
Harris, Emlyn, The Sexton's Tales, Internet, 1998